I feel so lucky these past few months, to be getting the chance to flip through some very excellent craft books, often before they officially hit the market. Today I have to thank Karin, who is a blog reader and also the editor of Patricia Kimle‘s new book, Perfectly Paired: Designing Jewelry with Polymer and Metal Clays, for sending a copy of it my way.
For my last few book reviews, I did projects directly out of the book. That’s generally how I operate when I’m knitting or sewing, because I don’t feel those crafts are in my blood just yet. I’ve still got a lot to learn. Polymer clay, though, is a different story. I very rarely do a polymer project straight out of a book. What I am more likely to do is flip through the book, look at the pictures, read the most intriguing projects, and then let the whole thing percolate for a few days. At that point, the book either inspires me to action or it doesn’t. If something emerges, it is most often a hybrid of things I saw in the book and things I already knew how to do.
Luckily, this is one of those books that got me to the clay table within a few days of first looking through it. I have a little bit of experience in metal clay, and I still had an unopened pouch from the last time I touched the stuff several years ago, so I was good to go as soon as I knew what I wanted to try.
What I ended up with was two pairs of earrings and two pendants, all of which combined elements of the “Layered Leaf Earrings” and the “Layered Pattern Pendant Necklace” (the top two images pictured from the book up there) with things that were already second nature to me.
I pretty much flew solo for the polymer parts, but I was glad to have Patti’s instructions to remind me of some of the things I’ve forgotten about metal clay. Also, I’d never used liver of sulfur before to give my silver a patina (I’d always used the hard boiled egg method) so it was nice to have some guidance there.
The verdict? I love these pieces. Especially the semi-circle earrings. I want to make more! More! MORE!
This book is well worth it, if you like the look of silver and polymer together (and really, who doesn’t?) I like that it jumps right into the projects, saving the “basics” sections for the back of the book. As someone who has experience in both types of clay, I like not having to wade through all of that introductory stuff in a book, but I like that it is available as a refresher if I need it (which I did, for the metal clay).
Also included in the book are some wireworking and metalworking basics, which I didn’t need for this project, but may come in handy down the road. I was intrigued by some of the jewelry that involved attaching purchased silver parts to the silver clay parts, but I am not quite ready to take on soldering just yet!
So how about you? Interested in trying some of these techniques for combining polymer and metal clays? Leave a comment here and be entered to win your own copy of Perfectly Paired. I’ll choose a random winner on Sunday night (3/21).
Until then, here are some links to keep you busy:
- Preorder the book from me at Polka Dot Creations (if you win, I’ll adjust your order so you get it free)
- Read all of my blog posts about this book
- Visit Patti’s website
[edited to add: based on the discussion in the comments re: lack of kiln, I wanted to mention that I fired my pieces in a hot pot, which came with a beginner kit several years ago. It’s been great for someone like me who can’t afford a kiln, and who is jumpy at the thought of using a torch.]